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Number of Newborn Deaths To Drop Soon – DOH

The Department of Health (DOH) expects a sharp cut on infant deaths in the future as it launched the Essential Newborn Care (ENC) Protocol last Dec 7, 2009.

According to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III

We believe that this protocol will pave the way for the solution on the problems we have on neonatal deaths. We are very positive that its adoption will directly reduce the count of newborn deaths in the country.

Health authorities said that the Philippines is one of the 42 countries in the world where 90% of all global deaths of under 5 year old children are accounted to.

Although childhood death rates in the country showed a downward trend from 1993 to 2003, the decline slowed down in the last 10 years. The infant mortality and child death rates have also exhibited similar trend over the same period

Secretary Duque said that neonatal and post-neonatal deaths declined the slowest over the past 20 years with the reduction of only 9 percent and 7 percent, respectively, from 1988 to 2003.

Our analysis showed that 50% of these deaths occur during the first 2 days of life with the following as causes: birth asphyxia (31%), complications of prematurity (30%) and severe infection (19%). Now, we are launching this Protocol, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, to help solve this newborn mortality problem because if it is not reduced by at least half, the goal of reducing childhood mortality by two thirds by 2015 would not be met

The Medium Development Goal target is 6 per 1000 livebirths by 2015. Secretary Duque explained that ENC is a comprehensive strategy to improve the health of the newborn through interventions before conception during pregnancy, at and soon after birth, and in the postnatal period.

The health chief signed the new Protocol as the government launched the UNANG YAKAP Campaign.

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